Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £21.99

Buy Now for £21.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

1752, the Liverpool Merchant sets sail from Merseyside. A slaver, she is bound for Africa to buy men and transport them in chains across the Atlantic. But aboard ship disease thrives in the cramped hold, killing men and eating into profit. Captain Thurso insists on throwing the sick overboard, to the horror of Matthew Paris, ship's surgeon, who determines to prevent such barbarity. Meanwhile, back home, Erasmus Kemp, cousin of Paris and son of the Liverpool Merchant's owner, finds his fortune hanging in the balance: dependent on the success or failure of a single voyage....

©1992 Barry Unsworth (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Sacred Hunger

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    77
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story, superb narration.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would recommend this book because the story is gripping, as well as historically very interesting. The narrator is excellent, as he always is.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sacred Hunger?

Just so many good moments - probably the descriptions of life for a slave in the galleys

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The description of life in the jungle for the survivors.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The death of one of the main characters quite early on.

Any additional comments?

David Rintoul is a superb narrator, well worth looking for other books he covers.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant

One of the best novels I've ever experienced. Superb in every way. Exceptional narration too.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly narrated

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would definitely recommend this. Fascinating historical novel.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sacred Hunger?

The realisation of what had happened to the people on board the Liverpool Merchant.

Have you listened to any of David Rintoul’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I've always admired him as an actor - the best Mr Darcy! I haven't listened to any other books but will definitely look out for more.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A shameful past.

Any additional comments?

A worthy Booker winner.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Top notch historical fiction

I think that this is a great novel, which is significantly enhanced by the narration. I can't fault it - I enjoyed it as much as Wolf Hall.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A book about slavery and human nature

This book did two things for me. it really brought home the horror if the slave trade, and the misery, not only of the people put into slavery, but of the sailors who worked on the slave ships. It is not just about the wrongs of slavery though. The book also explored the range of human motivation, from the pursuit of profit to jealousy and misplaced blame, to selfish calculation and the danger of not thinking through the potential consequences of one's actions.
A good book if you want lots of ideas to think about.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Story, bad sound edit

The actor did well, but I had to adjust my headphones constantly due to bad soundmixing whenever the actor changed character.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Suddenly so loud then so quiet.

This is tough going. I like to listen in bed but all of a sudden the narrator gets all excited and starts doing different voices but at a much louder volume than he was using. I'm 90 minutes in and I'm sick of having to constantly adjust the volume. I've heard the narrator read other books and this was not a problem, but for some reason he gets very excited and a bit too keen with this one.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Geoff
  • Geoff
  • 26-04-12

Superb

This book takes a while to get in to but if you persevere you will be rewarded with remarkable writing,great narration and a wonderful story. I nearly gave up after 3 or 4 hours listening but I am delighted now that I didn't. One of the best audiobooks I have listened to.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Arthur Murphy
  • Arthur Murphy
  • 30-08-21

Magisterial

Magnificent novel, brilliantly read by David Rintoul.....a superlative performance by a fine actor and reader.